the waiting game…

Yes, I know, I know, life to an extent is about waiting.  And the waiting game is especially not fun when you have to work through phone trees to get a live person to schedule your follow-up medical appointments.  Such was my experience this morning with the phone system of the University of Pennsylvania Health System phone system out at Penn Medicine at Radnor.

I always start calling early, because if you say, make the mistake of calling too close to 5 p.m. it may cut you off….and you can’t as a patient leave a message.

Before Christmas, the last time I had to call I spent 43 minutes on hold one time and 30 minutes on hold the next.   In order to get through to my doctor’s offices I had to leave a slightly unctuous message on Penn Medicine’s “fan” Facebook page.

And oh yes, to add to the frustration levels, this happy prerecorded sing-song voice months and months later still tells you that they have “recently” upgraded their phone system and wait times might be longer than normal.  Why can’t they just have a phone system that is answered?  This “routing” doesn’t work, and all it does is cause issues for patients and the front desks themselves – you see the people who are at the reception desks have absolutely no idea we are out there in fiber optic land on perma-hold.

This morning it took calling three times with an average hold time of ten minutes each call.  Why did I have to keep calling back?  Because the call kept dropping  instead of transferring to a live person.  Two calls left me on hold and then dropped instead of transferring.  The third call kept me on hold for ten minutes and then I got a live person who really did not know what to tell me….because they are on the other end of the obnoxious, inefficient phone system and have no clue that any of this is happening….and I doubt they have a voice to fix it.  They just get to get their ears bent by patient after patient.

I have no idea why Penn Medicine at Radnor wants a phone system that is mocked on credit card T.V. commercials.  Here they have world-class doctors, amazing nurses and exceptional staff … and a phone system that is third world frustrating.  And every person who works in that building knows the phone system sucks, yet while it is broken, no one fixes it.

For me, patience is sometimes a virtue I have yet to discover.    But it seems to me that if I can pay my doctor bills and co-pays when they want, I deserve to be able to get through to my doctors more easily when I have to.  And now that I have had breast cancer, I just seem to have more appointments, which means more calls to schedule, more calls to pre-cert, prescriptions to fill.   I don’t need irritation stress, do I?

I know I am not alone in my complaints of this phone system, so feel free to leave a comment.

And Penn Medicine?  I am putting this on your Facebook page in the hopes you will fix your convoluted, frustrating as hell phone system.  Your doctors, staff, nurses and oh yes patients deserve better.  Personally, I am sick of being tortured by your system.  People do not want everything replaced by phone prompts and sorry but I think plain old-fashioned human beings are more effective.




About carla

Writer, blogger, photographer, breast cancer survivor. I write about whatever strikes my fancy as I meander through life.
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